On Saturday 24th September an evening on ‘My Life in Art’ presented by John Sheeran was held at Elveden Hall, on the private estate of Lord Iveagh, Edward Guinness, 4th Earl of Iveagh. The breath-taking and historic location hosted 170 guests, raising much-needed funds for two local Suffolk charities, GeeWizz and Castle Community Rooms, Framlingham.
“I was so delighted to deliver the lecture ‘My Life in Art’ in aid of two Suffolk-based charities that mean so much to my wife, Imogen and me. Being able to give my lecture in the Marble Hall, in all its exotic splendour, was a real treat for me. I feel blessed to have had a working life so full of interest, challenge and excitement, and to be able to share this with the invited guests in such a magnificent, historic house.” John Sheeran said.
The proceeds from the evening will support GeeWizz Charity and Castle Community Rooms, Framlingham. GeeWizz Charity is funding two legacy projects close to its heart: additional years secured for Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, Non-Verbal Youth Programme for young people with learning disabilities or neurodivergent conditions; and GeeWizz will also earmark funds raised from the event to The Suffolk Lawn Tennis Association’s SENDs Programme, an all-inclusive tennis initiative across Suffolk.
Proceeds will also help enable Castle Community Rooms, Framlingham to furnish its new sustainable building at the heart of the community, for use by playschools, retirement groups, for sports, exhibitions, and parties. The new building will provide a space to be used and enjoyed for many years to come.
“I cannot begin to say how very grateful we all are to Lord Iveagh, John and Imogen Sheeran for their invaluable and most active personal support. The Marble Hall at Elveden Estate is so very rarely used for private events. Lord Iveagh very generously gifted us this very prestigious venue, along with him hosting what was a fantastic fundraising evening at Elveden, in the astounding Marble Hall, which has been likened to, “a Taj Mahal magically transported to the cold heartlands of Suffolk”. We are also indebted to John Sheeran for sharing his My Life in Art, enabling both beneficiary charities to support life-changing legacy projects to enrich local lives. This has to be the greatest gift of all.” Gina Long MBE, Founder of GeeWizz Charitable Foundation
Auctioneer Edward Crichton ASFAV of Lacy Scott & Knight, kindly led the auction which included truly incredible Lots. Under the hammer, those that attracted the highest bids included: a special driving experience with Porsche at Silverstone; VIP 5-star Hospitality tickets to Manchester City Etihad Stadium; a stunning 16-hand horse sculpture and jockey made of aluminium horseshoes, created by 93-year-old artist and sculptor, Tim Fogden BEM; a limited-edition BANKSY print published by Time Out in March 2010; Klimt-inspired jewellery handcrafted by Imogen Sheeran; and a fantastic, exclusive guided tour of Elveden Hall delivered by Lord Iveagh. A wonderful £40,034.55 was raised on the night from the generously donated auction prizes.
The evening was underwritten, with the majority of the costs generously sponsored by the Headline Sponsor Corptel and Supporting Sponsor Ellisons Solicitors.
“We at Corptel are proud to support charities from across the UK, including the two wonderful charities GeeWizz and Castle Community Rooms, alongside John Sheeren’s fantastic ‘My Life in Art’. As a business, we support a wide variety of charities and good causes, from tragic stories of individuals in immediate need, to investing in long term research to battle life threatening conditions. All these causes have touched us all in some shape or form. It is with this in mind that we are proud to have been the main sponsor for such a special occasion.” Paul Baxter, Managing Director, Corptel
Beautifully catered by The Food Station and LÉA by Pascal Canevet, who provided delicious canapés and wonderful mezze boards, the hospitality was greatly enjoyed by all. Dreamwave Group, The Great Events Company, Healey’s Printers, Coastline Graphics, TDC Cordless Lighting, My Best Friend’s Wardrobe, and the talented harpist Xenia Horne, all helped create the memorable evening.
“The evening’s illustrious speaker, John Sheeran, took us on a fascinating personal artistic journey, aided by the organisational skills and fabulous attention to detail of Gina Long and the GeeWizz Charity team who masterminded what was an extraordinary evening at Elveden Hall, which was brought to life, supporting two very worthy local charities.” Lord Iveagh
The evening was organised by Gina Long, and the GeeWizz team of Aileen Belsberg, Ellie Piercy, Katie Ewan, with thanks to their volunteers; Adrian Morgan of Castle Community Rooms, Framlingham; and the Elveden Estate, working closely with John and Imogen Sheeran, who created an evening greatly enjoyed by all, and a fundraising success.